Gym Etiquette 101: How To Be An A+ Gym Member
The gym is a public space, so the odds are you’ll have to share it with other people from time to time. However, most gyms don’t hand you a rule book when you start. While it may seem like common sense to act like a decent person, clean up after yourself, and generally just treat everyone with respect, unfortunately common sense doesn’t always determine the behavior of a lot of gym go-ers.
So what is gym etiquette? What are some of the unwritten rules that we should adhere to so that the gym remains a positive place for everyone? We’ve laid it out for you here:
<h2> Don’t Be An Equipment Hog
This is particularly important during busier times of the day (usually early morning or right after work hours). Most gyms have time limits on the cardio machines to make sure everyone has the chance to make the most out of their workout, and if you’re going over those when someone may be waiting, that’s cutting into their workout time. The important thing to remember is to work smarter, not longer, so if you find yourself being limited due to crowds, kick up your intensity levels.
This goes for weights, weight machines, and all other equipment as well. Be cognizant of those patiently waiting to use your equipment and take breaks between sets so you’re not hogging all the fitness!
<h2> Focus On Yourself
When you’re working out, your focus should be on your workout, your technique, and making the most of your time there- not what other people are doing. The gym can be a great place to meet people and build your own fitness community, but plain and simple, don’t be creepy. Don’t stare or hover over someone while they’re working out, it’s just not cool.
This also goes for those who look to provide people with unwarranted advice. Odds are a total stranger at the gym isn’t going to be looking for unsolicited advice on their bicep curls from you- plus there’s no way to know your advice couldn’t potentially cause injury on someone else. Leave the fitness advice to the personal training experts!
Let’s keep everyone comfy and safe in the gym and just focus on our own workouts!
<h2> Bring a Towel
Working out = sweat. A LOT of sweat. If your gym doesn’t require you to have a towel when you workout, be considerate of those using the equipment and benches after you and wipe off your sweat!
This goes double for protecting yourself from a fellow gym go-er who may not have wiped off their germy sweat before you used the equipment. Your towel doesn’t just protect others, but it protects you! Be sure to wash your hands after every workout as well.
<h2> Re-Rack Your Weights
This should go without saying, but tell that to the countless personal trainers, gym staff and fellow members who are stuck re-racking your weights after you’re done working out. This is not only rude, it leaves a risk for someone to trip and seriously injure themselves.
Whether you’re using dumbbells, weight plates, kettlebells, or any other form of equipment, put it back where you found it so others can use it!
<h2> Dress Appropriately
This doesn’t mean you can’t dress comfortably. But overly short/barely there clothing or overly baggy clothing all have different hazards. Baggy clothing can get stuck in machines and cause injury, and clothing that’s barely there can prevent you from having your full range of motion for things like jump squats or stretching.
When choosing workout clothes, go with the right coverage and fit that will let you get the most out of your workout!
<h2> Gym Selfies
Ah, the gym selfie. Social media is a great way to keep yourself accountable and receive encouragement from fellow fitness enthusiasts, but the gym selfie can be irritating if you’re not being considerate.
If you’re into posting a solid gym selfie, just make sure you’re not blocking someone else from using equipment or hogging a space to get that angle just right. Selfies may be important to you, but the gym is first and foremost a place for people to exercise. Also be sure not to accidentally (or intentionally) include unsuspecting members in the background- see above, don’t be creepy!
But if you do have to post that perfect #gymselfie, go ahead and throw our #SNAPNATION hashtag on there!
If you’re wondering whether a certain behavior is okay at the gym, just use the golden rule- if it would bother you, odds are it would bother someone else. Just be respectful, be courteous of others, and kill your workout every time!
For more health and wellness tips including workouts and recipes, subscribe to the Snap Fitness blog!
Don't want to miss anything?
Get the latest recipes, workouts, success stories, tips and more right in your inbox.